Girls tennis in good hands with South’s Dorner and Sock’s Savidge
There seems to be a youth movement coming through girls tennis led by Loyalsock sophomore Katie Savidge and South Williamsport freshman Olivia Dorner. These two young talents will look to make a push deep into the postseason for teams with a high upperclass presence.
Savidge and Dorner were on display in an early-season head-to-head match-up at No. 1 singles on Wednesday afternoon as South Williamsport defeated Loyalsock, 3-2 at the Garver Tennis Courts at Bruce E. Henry Park. Dorner came away with a 6-0, 6-0 win, looking like a veteran in just her second high school win. Even against a proven opponent, Dorner controled the middle of the court and made Savidge sprint from one side of the court to the other, which made good returns tough for the Lancer.
Savidge made a name for herself as a freshman last year when she finished fourth in the state and helped the Lancers to a 15-0 undefeated season.
“Katie will have a really good year,” Loyalsock head coach Rick Zimmerman said. “I’m hoping she can get back to states and play well to get there, especially playing against (Dorner).”
“I’ve played with her before,” Savidge said. “So I tried some things and it just didn’t work today, but there’s always room for improvement.” Savidge continued knowing this is just the beginning of the season.
“I was a little nervous at first, but after the first couple of games I felt comfortable,” Dorner said about facing Savidge early in the season. “I was able to hit my shots and ended up playing really well.”
Dorner is looking to help the Mounties turn the corner from a 4-14 season a year ago and is coming off of a 6-2 record at the USTA Girls 14 National Championships in Rome, Georgia earlier this month, which has helped prepare her for the fall season.
Dorner knew the opponent she was up against in Savidge, but said the national tournament provided help for the season.
“It helped a lot, it was good to see a lot of good competition from all over the country,” Dorner said.
“I just have to take it one match at a time and we will see what happens this year,” Dorner added.
“We expected (today) to be one of Olivia’s more challenging matches against Katie being a state place winner last year, so I am very pleased with her results today,” South Williamsport head coach Theresa Summerson said.
South’s Lilly Summerson also picked up a No. 2 singles win against Sienna Tolomay and a win from Alayna McGovern and Jen Bowman at No. 2 doubles spoiled Loyalsock’s (1-1) chances of another undefeated season.
“Overall, I am excited to see this season unfold,” Summerson said. “With Olivia at No. 1 and we have a lot of experience at two and three, I think we can do really well.”
Loyalsock’s two wins came from Melinda Vuocolo at No. 3 singles over Lauren Peck, and Morgan O’Connor and Abigail Patel at No. 1 doubles.
“Coming into the season we thought South would be the team to beat so it’s nice to play them early to see where we stack up,” Zimmerman said. “We are a really experienced team this year with all of our doubles players back and starting four seniors, along with Katie, I am really happy with how we are coming along.”
South Williamsport 3, Loyalsock 2
Singles: 1. Olivia Dorner (SW) def. Katie Savidge, 6-0, 6-0. 2. Lilly Summerson (SW) def. Sienna Tolomay, 6-0, 6-3. 3. Melinda Vuocolo (L) def. Lauren Peck, 6-4, 7-6 (5).
Doubles: 1. Morgan O’Connor/Abigail Patel (L) def. Zoe Jackson/Ella Livorno, 6-2, 7-6 (6). 2. Alayna McGovern/Jen Bowman (SW) def. Lea Jabbour/Sarah Hall, 6-1, 6-2.
Records: South Williamsport (2-0), Loyalsock (1-1).
Next match: Bloomsburg at South Williamsport, Monday, 4, Loyalsock at Montgomery tournament, Friday, 9 a.m.